Shiffrin determined to master downhill


After making her downhill debut in Lake Louise Mikaela Shiffrin is determined to keep improving so she can challenge for podium finishes.

The three-time FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup slalom champion made her first foray into the fastest of all the disciplines in Canada on Friday, finishing a respectable 18th.

She stopped the clock just short of two seconds behind winner Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia to pick up 13 points, Shiffrin finishing the 2996-metre course in one minute and 47.47 seconds.

There is still a long way to go to match her performance levels in the slalom - where she has won both races this season - but Shiffrin is keen to keep pushing herself.

"I felt absolutely fine, like totally within my comfort zone," she is quoted as saying by the Denver Post.

"Each time I ski I kind of push my comfort zone and it gets a little bit higher. I'm just trying to keep pushing that limit without overdoing it.

"I get frustrated when I'm like, 'OK, how was my run?' and I don't know until I watch the video. That's lack of experience with downhill."

Shiffrin - whose run was delayed by 10 minutes after Joana Haehlen crashed - admitted she did have some nerves prior to getting out on the course.

"That [Haehlen's crash] was a bummer," she added. "I was like, 'Just don't let it affect you', but being up there for 10 minutes [was not ideal].

"I started doubting myself, like my technique going off the jumps, which is actually pretty good. 

"I was going back and forth between, 'Should I even be doing this? Maybe I just should pull out because I don't want to kill myself.'

"Then I'm like, 'You're absolutely fine, you haven't felt sketched out a single time on this track in the past three days, so stick with that. You don't have to go crazy.'"

Shiffrin will get a chance to work on her technique further on Saturday in the second downhill event of the weekend.